CNN found Ambassador Stevens’ diary on the floor of the sacked compound in Benghazi where he was attacked. While they did not directly use any of the material in the journal, they did derive tips from it or use it to confirm other sources. One bit of information led CNN to report that the ambassador felt that he was on an al-Qaeda hit list and concerned about security in Libya.
The State Department has attacked CNN for its reporting, claiming that the network breached a confidentiality agreement with the ambassador’s family. Ann Althouse is having trouble buying the government’s line.
If the argument is that CNN broke an agreement, I want precision and I don’t see it. I repeat that I’m glad CNN got this information to us and didn’t supinely pass along the State Department’s talking points (which were wrong).
Yes, it looks as if the State Department is more concerned with covering up its mistakes before, during, and after the ambassador’s death than telling the truth. Stacy McCain writes:
While CNN’s conduct is certainly subject to criticism, that pales in comparison to the “worldwide significance” – the legitimate news value — of the story they were reporting. Attempting to distract from this important story by trying to indict CNN before the court of public opinion? Predictable and wrong …
Completely predictable. Governments caught screwing up will misdirect or lie. Journalists should understand that even their favored politicians will. It’s their nature.
Just as a scorpion will sting a frog, dooming both, so a lying politician can pull his pet journalists down with himself.